The Mind – What is it?

Filed under [ Relationship, Self ]

Have you ever stopped to think about the nature of your mind?  Did you come up with an answer?  Probably not.  Well you are not alone according to Dr Dan Siegel.  He reportedly interviewed thousands of scientists, therapists and other mental health professionals and none could come up with a definition. This is what he found: The mind is an embodied and relational process that regulates the flow of information and energy. Now that sounds very complicated.  But it really is not.  He says:

“The mind can be described as patterns in the flow of energy and information. The great thing about this definition is that it allows for you to look at how the flow of energy and information happens within one brain, as well as how energy and information flow between brains or among many brains, as in a family. You can see how the mind actually emerges not just from within one’s skull, but the human brain is actually an extremely social organ.”

What he is saying is that the human brain develops through its interpersonal relationships with others.  In other words, we influence and impact each others minds and brains through exchanging energy and information with each other.  The structure of our brains is actually hardwired to be connected to other brains.  This is an extremely important fact for all of us since we are obviously influencing each other’s minds through our interactions.  Knowing this can give us a whole new perspective on how our behaviors affect each other.

Parents please take note of how important your actions are in shaping your children’s minds.

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One Comment on “The Mind – What is it?”

  • 22 June, 2010,

    Sometimes, I wonder how the Internet fits into definitions of “my brain” or “my mind” … representing, as it does, hundreds of direct connections with people I know, as well as being a significant information source and enormous data storage. Access makes me remember some things differently … if I know some particular thing is online, I need remember only how to find it when needed as opposed to remembering the thing itself.

    Though a key word in the definition is *embodied* … I wonder where cell phones and computers fit into the picture. It’s hard for me to say they are just “tools” now. What about prostheses that sense and communicate with the brain?

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